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Congress holds on to UP leash

New Delhi, Sept. 8: Uttar Pradesh Congress leaders will have to be content with supporting the Mulayam Singh Yadav government from outside despite unrelenting lobbying for over eight days.

Rejecting the state unit’s case for joining the Mulayam Singh government, the party high command has decided that the 16-member Congress legislature party will only extend support from outside, for the “moment”. This was conveyed to the chief minister late on Saturday night.

Congress spokesman Anand Sharma said today the decision could be reviewed, depending on how things pan out. But the timing of the move suggests Sonia Gandhi will not allow the state unit to join the government.

Till Saturday afternoon, the high command had been telling state Congress chief Jagdambika Pal, legislature party leader Pramod Tewari and other legislators that a decision on joining the government would be taken only after today’s trust vote. But even before the leaders returned to Lucknow, the central leadership had informed Mulayam Singh that the Congress would not join his government.

Sharma would not say if the decision would be reversed if the Congress party chief has a satisfactory meeting with the chief minister. Indications are that the meeting will take place soon, now that Mulayam Singh has won the trust vote comfortably.

The spokesman would not make much of the Congress MLAs’ indiscipline in continuing to press for joining the government even after Saturday’s decision was made public. “They have their own perceptions. They are expressing their personal views,” Anand said.

BSP plea quashed

The Supreme Court today dismissed the Bahujan Samaj Party’s petition challenging governor Vishnu Kant Shastri’s invitation to Mulayam Singh to form the government instead of dissolving the Assembly as per the advice of former chief minister Mayavati.

The court said it did not find any reason to interfere with the governor’s action.

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